Working at my organization, I witnessed Transformational leadership with my Chief of Staff. His leadership and influence helped with the development and growth of my leadership skills. As Northhouse (2016) states, “Transformational leadership involves an exceptional form of influence that moves followers to accomplish more than what is usually expected of them. It is a process that often incorporates charismatic and visionary leadership”, (p.161). With his advice and guidance, it helped me to make decisions and lead other on projects to get them completed in ways that he would approve of. Because of this, I was given more responsibility and he trusted me to make decisions that would affect the entire organization. I made sure to give him credit when I was approached with positive feedback, which led to other looking at him as not only a good leader, but an effective teacher and mentor as well.
What also took place when I gravitated to his transformational leadership was he taught me things through actions, not just words. By him doing this it helped me to develop a sense of leading that was like his, but I was able to think as an individual. By knowing what was right and wrong through his actions and not just words, it reinforced my train of thought, helped me to build on what he was teaching me, and made me think outside the box when I was working in a group where I was leading the project. “Leaders are truly transformational when they increase awareness of what is right, good, important, and beautiful; when they help to elevate followers’ needs for achievement and self-actualization; when they foster in followers higher moral maturity; and when they move followers to go beyond their self-interests for the good of their group, organization, or society” (Zhu, Avolio, Riggio & Sosik, 2011, p. 805).
My Chief of Staff possesses all four of the common strategies that were identified by Nanus in Northouse’ Transformation Leadership chapter. The Chief of Staff has a clear vision of the future state of our organization (p.173). When he first was hired, the organization was in the middle of making changes to the Executive leadership team. He was tasked with strategizing and putting together a plan to change the mission, vision and values of the whole organization. This ultimately led to him bringing in an outside agency and starting the rebrand of the company overall. The vision he had was so clear that it made all the parties involved motivated and connect their ideas easily which helped bring everything together. We now have a new tagline, logo and mission, vision and values. In addition, this was all done in less than a year.
He also is a social architect. Northouse (2016) states, “these leaders communicated a direction that transformed their organization’s values and norms” (p. 173), with the COS’ plan to rebrand the organization, he put together a plan that would change the identity of the company, but not stray too far from what are members where use to. His plan was create something that would refresh the way we do things in the office and change the way we approach helping our members. When this was introduced to the organization as a whole, the majority of the employee were excited about the idea.
He also created trust within the organization. It wasn’t something that was done with his words. This was something that happened over time through his various actions. A lot of the employees saw what he did with me and it helped them to gravitate to him. He doesn’t try to stand out, he much rather let his work do the talking, and the people in the company weren’t use to that. But as they saw that everything he said, he ended up doing, it helped everyone gain a sense of trust.
Lastly, he uses creative deployment well. Northouse (2016) states, “Based on an awareness of their own competence, effective leaders were able to immerse themselves in their tasks and the overarching goals of their organizations” (p. 173). He is very meticulous with actions and plans. He is very calculated with what he does and what he says and the timing of things as well. This helps him further act as an effective leader because he is able to place his focus on the areas that he knows he is strong in and initiate those plans and then set aside time to strategize around things that might take more time so they are deployed correctly.
Seeing what the results were from his assistance and mentoring not only helped me in the field of leadership, it also me build a relationship with a person on the Executive Leadership. I was able to develop my professional character traits and put me in a better position with my peers. His influence on me goes far beyond my leadership skills professionally. I have started looking for way to incorporate the things that I have learned into my personal life as well. My hope is that by adopting these traits, both inside and outside of work, I will be able to see changes and progressions in areas that I never considered prior to having this influence. As each of the skills and theories I have learned help me in multiple ways, I hope that I can have the same effect on someone else in the future.
Zhu, W., Avolio, B.J., Riggio, R., & Sosik, J. (2011). The effect of authentic transformational leadership on follower and group ethics. The Leadership Quarterly, 22, 801–817. Retrieved from https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/science/article/pii/S1048984311001068?via%3Dihub
Northouse, P.G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and practice. 7th Edition. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.